A while back I received a Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC) Personal Workstation 433a and finally had some time to get it up and running. For those that are unaware, the 433a has a 433mhz Alpha 21164A (EV56) that is capable of running Windows NT 4 and with the right bios can run
. The 433au
model has the
capable bios out of the box. I am not familiar with the process, but from what I gather it isn't terribly difficult.
Being enamored by the prospect of running Windows NT 4 on a non-x86 system and being my favorite operating system, I jumped at the chance of getting it on the 433a.
Unfortunately, the 433a came without a hard drive and being from 1996, there is no SATA support only EIDE and with the right card Ultra Wide 2 SCSI. Not having any spare Ultra 320 SCSI drives, I used a SATA -> PATA adapter on a 500gb Hitachi SATA II laptop drive I had laying around. Knowing this would technically limit it to 16mb/sec outside of Disk <-> Buffer operations, I was intrigued about the performance versus putting a "slower" Ultra 320 SCSI drive like a Maxtor Atlas 15k II drive and attaching it to a Ultra Wide 2 SCSI adapter that has a 80mb/sec bandwidth. One day I will pop a U320 drive and compare the disk results.
During shipment the mainboard came loose from the
looking connector that it connects to, if you receive a PWS that fails to power on - ensure it is fully connected.
After reseating the mainboard I was greeted with the startup logo:
I entered the "BIOS" and was presented with a very "PC" like screen that I wasn't expecting:
Knowing that the Windows 8 NTFS partitions would be unrecognizable most likely by the Alpha, I proceeded to the Disk Setup and reconfigured the drive with the express setup:
Fortunately, the "express" setup was very easy, it configured the drive for use with
in mind with no manual configuration needed outside of creating a second partition to fill out the remaining space on the hard drive.
After exiting the "bios":
In the next post, I'll detail the
Windows NT 4 Workstation
and subsequent updates required.